Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Cemetery changes insensitive, say funeral directors

Cemetery changes insensitive, say funeral directors

4 June 2014

Many of Auckland Council’s proposed changes to its cemetery and crematoria bylaws are insensitive to the cultural, religious and social needs of families and are too restrictive, says the Funeral Directors Association (FDANZ).

FDANZ Chief Executive Katrina Shanks says the proposals would mean less flexibility for families around timing and access to cremations and burials. They cover all council cremators and cemeteries.

“These will affect families adversely and I am at a loss as to why most of these changes are being made,” Mrs Shanks says.

“It seems that there has been little consideration for families or cultural sensitivities taken into account in formulating these changes.

“It seems more about making things easier for the council at the expense of families. In fact, proposing extra fees on families in the event of late notification of a burial or cremation is exactly that, and looks more like a money-making exercise.

“Other changes may be simply because they have not thought about the ramifications of what they are proposing – but on such sensitive matters, they should have.

“Some of the changes will slow down the cremation and burial process at a time when families just want to get on with it and grieve.”

FDANZ has made a submission to the council. The proposals and FDANZ’s response to each include:

Restricting interments to between 10am and 3.30pm.
FDANZ: “The practice of capping burial numbers in any one day is not helpful to families because it restricts when they can plan a funeral. This has most significance on Mondays and the day after a public holiday (when burials cannot begin before noon), or any day where multiple families want a burial. This will result in loss of flexibility and will impact on cultural sensitivities regarding the timing of funerals. Maintaining the cap at five funerals a day, in the case at Manukau Memorial Gardens, in a city the size of Auckland is not acceptable.”

Notification of an intended burial must be made by no later than midday of the day prior, and additional charges will apply if there is no notice.
FDANZ: “The fact that the council is willing to prepare plots with less notice (and charge an additional fee) indicates it is possible to do plot preparation with shorter timeframes. So we question why there is a need to restrict times or numbers of burials in any one day. We believe this is nothing more than a money-making exercise.”

Only a person authorised by the council may fill in a grave.
FDANZ: “We strongly oppose such a restriction. We are seeking clarification, but if it is the council’s intention to restrict this to just council staff then there will be an adverse effect on families. Filling in the grave is an essential part of the funeral process for some cultural groups, and it would be wrong to deny them this. If health and safety is an issue, we suggest council staff be there to supervise it.”

Bookings for cremations must be made by midday on the day prior.
FDANZ: “This will slow down the funeral process, particularly if the death occurs close to or over a weekend. There is an increasing trend away from formal funerals, with many families now opting for cremation without a service. Many who follow this option want the cremation within a short timeframe, often on the day the death occurs. We believe council should still be willing to accept caskets for cremation on the same day a booking is made, even if the cremation cannot take place until the following day. Bookings should be able to be done after hours and at weekends and holiday periods.”

No more than two witnesses will be able to see the casket placed in the cremator.
FDANZ: “The impact on families of this proposal will be significant and we strongly oppose it. Allowing just two people to view the ‘charge’ will not be acceptable to communities and families for whom that is an essential part of their funeral culture. Hindu families often require a ceremony before the casket is put into the cremator. This involves the pundit (holy man), often accompanied by an assistant, leading a ceremony for the deceased’s eldest son and other significant male relatives. Restricting this to two people will not be welcomed by the Hindu communities.” We strongly suggest at least four witnesses be allowed (and prefer even more).

Ashes will not be able to be deposited in a public place without prior written approval.FDANZ: “The impact of this on families is potentially significant. It will affect the many families who wish to discreetly deposit the ashes at a “favourite place”. Also, Hindu families often wish to scatter ashes in the sea within 24 hours of cremation. This would make that problematic. We are seeking clarification as to how consent will be sought and approved, and who will monitor and police any breaches.

Floral tributes will be removed from plots after 14 days.
FDANZ: “The impact on families is difficult to quantify, but this could be seen as being unfair to those who have gone to considerable expense providing floral tributes. We would like a longer period, say 28 days.

Mrs Shanks says FDANZ is also seeking clarification on which caskets or shrouds are acceptable to the council for cremations, and on the type and detail of information recorded by cemeteries, including why the cause of death should be on the public record.

“Many of these changes would make things harder for families when the council should be making things easier.

“It seems it has not thought a lot of this through.

“A death in the family is an extremely emotional and stressful time for people and the council should have a strong think about that before they put impediments in peoples’ way.”

The Funeral Directors Association of New Zealand (FDANZ) is an association of caring professionals who are committed to ensuring the families they serve receive high quality funeral services. www.funeralsnewzealand.co.nz

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

  • Week in Parliament 22-05-15
  • Saturday Sitting
  • House Rises At Midnight
  • Telco Levy Bill Passes
  • Telco Levy Bill Completes First Reading
  • Social Housing Bill Passes Under Urgency

  • TPPA: University Of Auckland Warns Of Negative TPP Impact

    The University of Auckland May 20, 2015 University of Auckland Warns of Negative TPP Impact With the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiation drawing to a close, the University of Auckland has expressed serious concerns about its potential implications. ... More>>

    NZ Flag: Flag Referendum Gets Hit Hard In New Poll

    The latest Campbell Live text poll confirms it is time for the Prime Minister to listen to the public and shelve his flag referendum, says the New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. More>>

    Gordon Campbell: The Government’s Belated Moves On Property Speculation

    Is it a property tax on capital gains or a capital gains tax on property? The Jesuitical distinctions in the government’s spin about its latest moves on property speculators are all about whether the government can claim that it jumped, or confess that it ... More>>

    Grant Robertson:
    Key Can’t Just Be Prime Minister For Parnell

    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In a ... More>>

    Labour Party: More Regional Jobs Go In Corrections Reshape

    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka ... More>>

    ALSO:

  • NZ First - Prison Job Losses to Send Money Offshore
  • TPPA: ‘Team Obama’ Regroups On Fast Track, Still Not Deliverable

    ‘After yesterday’s stinging and unexpected defeat for the Obama administration’s attempt to advance Fast Track legislation in the US Senate, Senate leaders have worked up a compromise they think will get them past this blockage’, according to Auckland ... More>>

    NZ Government: 5,500 More Doctors And Nurses In Our Hospitals

    Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says a record number of doctors and nurses are working in District Health Boards across the country. More>>

    Controller and Auditor General: Katherine Rich Conflict of Interest Decision

    We are writing to you about a matter that has been raised with us by members of the public. More>>

    ALSO:


    Budget 2015: Andrew Little On The 2015 Budget

    Speaking to the Chamber of Commerce, the Labour opposition leader attacked the government’s approach to economic issues facing New Zealand. He said they have been “more than reckless in their complacency” and “the next week’s budget will do nothing ... More>>

    Defence Force: NZDF Building Partner Capacity Mission Personnel In Iraq

    NZDF Building Partner Capacity Mission Personnel in Iraq The New Zealand Defence Force Building Partner Capacity training mission contingent is in place at Taji Military Complex in Iraq. The Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Tim Keating says the ... More>>

    PM Press Conference: ACC Levy Cuts Announced

    In a press conference this afternoon in Wellington, ACC Minister Nikki Kaye proposed $500 million worth of ACC levy cuts. More>>

    Quakes: New Process For Red Zone Crown Offers

    Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced a process to give everyone a say on the Crown offers to owners of vacant, commercial/industrial and uninsured properties in the Residential Red Zone. More>>

    ALSO:

    Gordon Campbell: On The Battle Obama Is Waging Over The TPP

    For the past two and a half years, this column has been arguing that the fate of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal will hinge on whether US President Barack Obama can win Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) from Congress... Last week, the White House finally, finally unveiled a draft TPA Bill. More>>

    ALSO:


    Gordon Campbell: On lessons for Labour from the UK election
    If the polls were right – and the pollsters kept telling us how accurate they’d been in 2010, and even Nate Silver was getting the same results – there seemed no way that the British Labour Party could lose last Thursday’s British election. With Labour predicted to win around 270 seats and the Scottish National Party batting around 55-60 seats, Labour seemed to be home free. But…as we now know, things didn’t turn out that way. Labour ended up with 232 seats and the Conservatives swept back to power with an outright majority, after winning only a little more than a third ( 36.9%) of the votes cast.MORE >>
    Also.

  • NZ PM John Key - PM congratulates David Cameron after UK election
  • The Nation IV Transcript - Hack Attack author Nick Davies
  • Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
    More RSS  RSS
     
     
     
     
    Politics
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news